Everton rival Man United in surprise move to sign former Gunners ace

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Everton are considering a move to sign Barcelona defender Thomas Vermaelen in the summer transfer window as they seek to improve their options at the back.

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Toffees boss Roberto Martinez is supposedly weighing up a surprise bid for the former Arsenal captain, who has had a torrid time since leaving the Emirates Stadium for the Nou Camp last summer.

The Belgian international, once a key player for the Gunners, has not yet made a single appearance for Barca since joining the club, and may not have a future with the Catalan giants as Everton come calling.

Manchester United are also known to be interested in the 29-year-old, according to the Daily Star, though any move for such an injury-prone player would surely be highly risky.

Still, Everton need a replacement for the ageing Sylvain Distin, and have succeeded in raiding Barcelona in the past as they took Gerard Deulofeu on loan for the 2013/14 season.

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